Education in Russia /
System of education in brief /
Russian Educational System today /
In the Russian Federation, there are 180,000 educational establishments of all types and categories. About 35 million people or 23 percent of the total population of the country are annually involved in one type of education or another. More than 6 million people are employed in the sphere of education.
The system of education in Russia evolved for centuries under the influence of Christianity, and since the end of the Seventeenth Century, under the influence of the Enlightenment. In the Twentieth Century, when general and professional education came more than ever to be considered as a factor of social and economic change and as an inherent individual right, illiteracy was eliminated, access to higher education was extended, and an educational system for adults was created. Many persons, however, came to feel that the educational system, that had been built up by the beginning of the 1980's, was not sufficiently flexible and not entirely capable of meeting the demands of individuals.
The socio-political changes that have been taking place in Russia and the transition to a market economy have led to a need to reform the education system. The Constitution of the Russian Federation of 1993 and the federal law On Education of 1992 and its 1996 revisions strengthened the right of citizens to education, stimulated the democratization of life in educational institutions, extended academic freedom and institutional autonomy, and promoted the humanization of education. The former centralized and unified system was replaced by a system which, to a fuller extent, takes into account the interests of students and teachers, of the academic community, and of employers. The non-state education sector, including educational establishments founded by both individuals and by non-state organizations, has been developing rapidly. The Federal Programme for the Development of Education, aimed at the encouragement of innovations in all components of the education system, has been designed for the support of educational reforms.
In recent years, the system of education of the Russian Federation has been undergoing drastic changes in the framework of the comprehensive transformation of the country as a whole. The main changes have been proceeding along the following lines:
diversification: emergence of new types of educational institutions, introduction of a multi-level higher education system (Bakalavr and Magistr degrees in addition to the traditional Diplom-Specialist degree), and profound changes in curricula;
democratization: expansion of academic freedom and institutional autonomy, an increase in the number of public and buffer organizations;
quality of education: strengthening of a mechanism for evaluation and quality control;
content of education: in-depth changes in many disciplines, especially in political science, history, economics, law, and others.
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